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Archive for the ‘Scoliosis’ Category

heck yea i do the neti pot
Image by * debris * via Flickr

Most people with chronic sinus problems will suffer with regular congestion or infections or both for years.  Improper drainage of the sinuses can lead to chronic colds and flu, allergies, fatigue and more.

So what to do?
Take endless decongestants, antihistamines, and nasal steroids?
That will help you to contribute to the $5.8 billion a year that Americans spend on sinus treatments, according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation.
Use a neti pot or other nasal rinse device to try to keep your sinuses clear?
Or you could be one of the 500,000 Americans that have sinus surgery every year!
Some estimates say that up to 90% of sinus problems are really misdiagnosed headache syndromes.  For instance Traci a patient of mine for about a year is a 44 years old female who has battled chronic sinus infections, facial pressure, and headaches for over 10 yearsShe had sinus surgery about 8 years ago, and have used various kinds of antibiotics and medicated rinses, but found no relief. Along with sinus trouble, she has scoliosis and chronic neck and shoulder pain for over 15 years. She was constantly “popping” ibuprofen to help ease all the discomfort she was in. She was always achy, edgy, and tired! She found out about NUCCA and eventually, decided to call and see if this was something that could help her.

After a couple months, she really began to notice improvement in her neck mobility and pain. She felt as if it had been “unlocked” and she could move much more easily. Changing lanes on the freeway and backing out of a parking spot was easy again! As her neck pain improved, so did her shoulder pain. In fact, her scoliosis curve even improved!

Over time, as her adjustments starting holding longer and longer, her sinuses started to clear up as well. With NUCCA it is not about being adjusted 1000’s of times it is about getting your spine in to the proper position and keeping it that way so that it can heal and function the way the body is designed to.

She weaned herself from all sinus rinses and medications and haven’t had a sinus infection in 7 months. The facial pressure and headaches have decreased significantly and she definitely has more energy. She is even able to exercise again without chronic discomfort.

This is what she said recently…

“I am so grateful that I stuck with this treatment! I encourage everybody to stick with it, be patient, and follow all the suggestions from Dr. Davis. Give your body time to heal itself. It will be worth the commitment! Dr. Davis and Linde are kind, helpful, and very accommodating. NUCCA will truly help you feel better!!”

Can your body heal itself from a chronic sinus problem or other chronic condition?

Only one way to find out…take the next step and find a NUCCA doctor in your area to see if you have an Atlas Misalignment that is effecting the health and function of your body.

Go to www.nuccawellness.com to schedule an evaluation today!

Dr. William R. Davis Jr., D.C. is a Vista Chiropractor and Upper Cervical Specialist. He is in private practice in Southern California in the city of Vista. He specializes in correcting problems in the upper cervical spine (upper neck). This vital area is intimately connected to the central nervous system and problems in this area have been shown to be an underlying cause of a variety of different health problems. More information can be found on his website at http://www.nuccawellness.com

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United Cerebral Palsy

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Cerebral Palsy (CP) is the most prevalent lifelong developmental disability in the United States.  Recently I have seen a tremendous change in a patient with Cerebral Palsy and began investigating the impact that upper neck misalignments have on people diagnosed with CP.

Dr. William Amalu of the International Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association has published an amazing case study of a 5-year-old boy confined to a wheelchair with Cerebral Palsy, blindness, chronic ear infections, and severe seizures (30 per day).

After a thorough evaluation the patient was determined to have an upper neck misalignment and Dr. Amalu began a course of care.  After the first adjustment, the patient’s mother noted that he had his first good night sleep in weeks. After the second adjustment, the patient’s seizures reduced dramatically to only 10 per day, his vocal drone became a quiet intermittent moan, and he began to clap his hands. His mother noted that he had become more alert, continued to sleep more soundly, began sitting up and looking around, responded to sounds by looking toward the source, and continued with a decrease in seizures to only 5 per day.

During the third and fourth week of care the seizures continued to occur at 5 per day, but all grand mals had ceased. He was sleeping completely through the nights now.  For the first time in his life he said “dada”. By the end of the fourth week, his therapists suspected that his vision was suddenly improving.  A re-examination of the patient was also performed at this time. There were no signs of any: vocal drone, writhing motions, upper neck muscle spasms or tenderness, restricted neck ranges of motion, or ear fluid.  He was now capable of sitting up on his own and his mother reported that for the first time he pulled himself up and stood for over one minute. He began showing fine motor skills this week by grabbing his own pacifier and placing it in his mouth. The patient now showed avoidance to bright light, visual fixation and following, and normal direct and pupil reflexes. His mother noted that this was his first month free from ear infections in 9 months.

By the end of the fifth week of care the patient was seen by his neurologist and ophthalmologist. His ophthalmologist noted a drastic improvement with a recovery of central field vision. The patient’s neurologist reported that his CP had greatly improved and that he would be requesting further tests to evaluate his seizure condition.

The patient’s follow-up examination with his pediatrician noted that his ears were normal and that tubes would not be necessary.  During the time period between the seventh and twelfth week, the patient’s seizures steadily reduced to the point of staring episodes only.

There were no outward signs of seizures by the end of the twelfth week.  Over the next 10 months, the patient continued to improve. His neurologist slowly reduced his medication causing his staring episodes to go away. With further testing, the patient was eventually classified as non-epileptic and final withdrawal of all medication was made. He never experienced another episode of the ear infections. His vision improved to the point where he was prescribed glasses. The patient continued to learn simple words with clear pronunciation of “dada, mama, eat, and food”. His fine motor coordination improved such that he was learning to feed himself. The patient’s mother noted that he was also potty training. His gross motor coordination continually progressed to the point that he was able to walk slowly with the assistance of holding one hand.

Absolutely incredible!

Another study was published where seven patients were tested – two children and five adults. All patients in this study had improvements in many areas including decreased muscle spasms, improved sleep patterns, decreased irritability, decreased pain, and decreased incidence of respiratory and other infections. One child had four unsuccessful surgeries to correct strabismus (crossed eyes) after two adjustments, the crossed eyes were gone. The children were able to hold their heads up for longer periods and are making more attempts at crawling or standing with support. There is also improved clarity and volume of speech in patients with speech and hearing problems. With care, there is overall decrease in muscle activity at all levels and balance improved with eyes closed.

It is clear to see from this research that the connection between neurological conditions like Cerebral Palsy and the upper neck area should be investigated.  The brain stem dysfunction that is present with an upper neck misalignment is significant and a variety of different conditions can be caused or exacerbated by this type of a problem.

All Cerebral Palsy victims should be evaluated for upper neck misalignments and brain stem dysfunction as soon as possible.

If you are in Southern California go to www.nuccawellness.com if not visit www.nucca.org or www.upcspine.com

Dr. William R. Davis Jr., D.C. is a Vista Chiropractor and Upper Cervical Specialist. He is in private practice in Southern California in the city of Vista. He specializes in correcting problems in the upper cervical spine (upper neck). This vital area is intimately connected to the central nervous system and problems in this area have been shown to be an underlying cause of a variety of different health problems. More information can be found on his website at http://www.nuccawellness.com

References:

Amalu, W. Today’s Chiropractic May / June 1998.  Cortical Blindness, Cerebral Palsy, Epilepsy, and Recurring Otitis Media: A Case Study in Chiropractic Management.

Collins, KF et al. Chiropractic Pediatrics 1994; 1 (1):13-15

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Initianal diagnosis of scoliosis: dorsal and f...

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Many patients who have scoliosis (Curvature in the spine) will struggle with a distorted body image.  They may feel that it is difficult to dress the way they want to.  Kids growing up may ridicule them for their appearance and many other unfortunate events.

That was Abby’s situation.  For 23 years she had struggled with a warped body image because of underlying upper neck misalignments that led to her developing a Scoliosis.  The scoliosis and upper neck misalignments led to a variety of different health problems.  Even with the healthiest diet, a great exercise program and regular stress relieving activities her health continued to deteriorate. 

Here is her story…

“My whole life has been plagued by symptom after symptom; headaches, breathing trouble, allergies, foggy memory and a warped body image.

At 23, after months of misaligned yoga practice that precipitated my problems, I realized that my problems may have started at birth. My birth was very traumatic, my mom labored for 2 days and then I eventually had to be delivered via emergency c-section.

When Dr. Davis showed me my x-rays it all started to make sense. Since birth my C-1 (top bone in my neck) was out of balance.

After only 1 month of care, I feel literally brand new. My body is healing itself, finally. I walk straight, use both my hands normally, look straight forward instead of my head my turned to the right.

All the problems I had decided I had inherited and must resign myself to live with are disappearing! My heart grows every day, I am literally a happier person.

Dr. Davis has my greatest thanks and most sincere blessing.”

Abigail E.            April 2011

Who do you know that struggles because of an obvious curvature in the spine?  Scoliosis can frequently be helped significantly by balancing out the head using specific upper cervical adjustments.  The sooner the condition can be detected the more likely you will have a significant reduction in the scoliosis.

The longer you wait the worse it gets.  So don’t put it off any longer. 

Find a NUCCA Chiropractor in your area and get your head on straight.  www.nuccawellness.com  or www.nucca.org

Dr. William R. Davis Jr., D.C. is a Vista Chiropractor and Upper Cervical Specialist. He is in private practice in Southern California in the city of Vista. He specializes in correcting problems in the upper cervical spine (upper neck). This vital area is intimately connected to the central nervous system and problems in this area have been shown to be an underlying cause of a variety of different health problems. More information can be found on his website at http://www.nuccawellness.com

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Result after scoliosis surgery.

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Previously in this blog we have looked at the connection of the position of the head and how that relates to the rest of the spine.  A recent case study demonstrates this correlation once again.  Dr. Marshall Dickholtz Sr. an excellent NUCCA Chiropractor practicing in the Chicago area had a fifteen year old female patient with a history of scoliosis, vertigo, lower back pain, and lack of energy. 

Objective indicators of an Atlas misalignment (the top bone in the spine just underneath the skull) were identified. 

She had scoliosis with a Cobb angle of 44 degrees!  

Standard treatments for scoliosis include (a) observation for curves Between 0-20° (otherwise known as letting it get worse), (b) bracing for 20 to 40° (brace is worn up to 23 hours per day), and (c) spinal surgery for curvatures over 40°.  With this patient she would be in the surgery category.  The image above demonstrates a “successful” scoliosis surgery. 

In 2008, Weiss et al. concluded that evidence for conservative treatment including exercise and bracing were limited and case controlled studies did not exist supporting surgery.  Bracing is definitely a difficult sell for a child.  Most kids are not going to wear the brace consistently due to several factors: (a) the need to wear the braces up to 23 hours a day (b) psychological reasons related to embarrassment at school and poor body image (c) back pain and (d)
lowered level of quality of life. 

Additionally, as talked about in the study O’Brien et al. published that an Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis patient, in 2007, could spend more than $500,000 for 4 surgeries over a 40-year span.

So what is the alternative?

How about addressing the underlying cause of the abnormal spinal curvatures?

In this study, NUCCA chiropractic adjusting directed at reducing misalignments in the upper cervical region were performed. Post upper cervical X-rays revealed a reduction of the Atlas misalignment.  After 5 months of care, the Cobb angle was reduced to 32-degrees.  A 27% decrease!

If the head is kept in that position throughout the rest of the patient’s life for a lot less than 500K what will take place?

The scoliosis most likely will continue to improve or at worst not progress any further.  Our bodies are designed with an amazing ability to adapt.  Moving the atlas to properly balance the head on top of the spine has a profound impact on scoliosis even with those who have suffered with scoliosis for years.  In my office just in the past few months I have seen reductions in scoliosis under NUCCA care from 16.5 to 12.5 in 90 days in a 65 year old female and from 16.5 to 13.5 in 120 days in an 82 year old female!  25% and 19% respectively.

So if you or your child had been diagnosed with a scoliosis and there is a history of head or neck injuries, then an upper neck evaluation should be performed.  The most vulnerable place in the spine to injure is the upper neck because it is the most movable.  When accidents or injuries have torn loose the connective tissue that hold the spine in place in the upper neck it creates a weakness which allows the spine to break down and lock into a stressed position.

Once the position of the eyes have been deviated from being level with the horizon the brain will immediately initiate the righting reflex which is a reflex in the brain designed to keep the eyes level.  As a result of misalignments in the upper neck and alteration of the position of the head the entire spine most compensate.  If this misalignment occurs at birth or early on in life than scoliosis may develop as a result.

Do you want to know if you are a candidate for this type of care?

Is surgery or bracing the last thing that you want to do?

Then an Upper Cervical Chiropractor could be the answer.

In the San Diego County area?  Go to www.nuccawellness.com

Anywhere else go to www.nucca.org or www.upcspine.com to find a doctor near you.

Dr. William R. Davis Jr., D.C. is a Carlsbad Chiropractor and Upper Cervical Specialist. He is in private practice in Southern California in the city of Vista. He specializes in correcting problems in the upper cervical spine (upper neck). This vital area is intimately connected to the central nervous system and problems in this area have been shown to be an underlying cause of a variety of different health problems. More information can be found on his website at http://www.nuccawellness.com
References:

Improvement in Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis in a Patient Undergoing Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care:  A Case Report-Kim B. Khauv, D.C., MPH & Marshall Dickholtz, Sr., D.C., FICPA

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X-ray of U.S. girl, age 16 years 8 months, wit...

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When a 2-year-old little girl falls down the stairs what is the typical response?  The parents would pick her up and check on her see if there are any notable injuries.  If they were concerned about her in any way the parents would take that little girl to the emergency room and get her checked out medically.  They may perform X-Rays, a Cat Scan, and other testing.  If all those tests come back negative then they would release her back to her parents and tell them that she is going to be okay.

But what if she wasn’t okay.  What if when she fell and hit her head the ligaments and muscles that connect the head and neck were damaged.  Creating a slight misalignment at the atlas (the top bone in the spine).  Once that bone is misaligned and locked out of it’s normal position it creates a weakness.  This weakness allows the spine to break down and lock into a stressed position.  In this stressed position frequently one of the legs will appear shorter than the other when laying flat on your back.  And one hip will be lower than the other when in the standing position.

Now in this new stressed position the body begins to grow.  With the head slightly tilted to one side and the hips uneven that little girl hits her growth spurt at the age of 8 and a curvature begins to develop.  By the time that little girl is 13 she has a 12 degree Scoliosis like the one you see in the picture.

Now lets look at a different scenario.  This time the Mom of that 2-year-old little girl is a patient of an upper cervical chiropractor.  So after little Candice isn’t sleeping well and just isn’t acting like herself after the fall, she is brought into our office to have her alignment evaluated.  During the exam the little girl is found to have a one inch leg length discrepancy!

After the exam the Candice is adjusted in her upper cervical spine.  Her legs immediately level…the Mom is amazed!  That night Candice sleeps great again and is just like herself again the next day.  Over the last 4 months Candice has only needed one other adjustment and the crying and problems sleeping have not returned.

So what were we able to save Candice from?  Scoliosis?  Ear infections?  ADHD?  Headaches?  Digestive problems?  We don’t know.  But without a doubt Candice will now grow up a healthier girl because her spine has been restored to it’s normal alignment.

The most common times for a child to develop a misalignment are after birth, when they begin to lift their head, when they begin to crawl and when they begin to walk.  After those milestones a child should only be evaluated if they have had a head or neck trauma such as a fall or car crash.  About 50% of the kids that I evaluate are misaligned.  There will be no other time better than in childhood to correct those problems and allow that child to grow up as healthy as possible.

It is much easier to grow healthy kids than it is to repair damaged adults!

Dr. William R. Davis Jr., D.C. is a Carlsbad Chiropractor and Upper Cervical Specialist. He is in private practice in Southern California in the city of Vista. He specializes in correcting problems in the upper cervical spine (upper neck). This vital area is intimately connected to the central nervous system and problems in this area have been shown to be an underlying cause of a variety of different health problems. More information can be found on his website at http://www.nuccawellness.com

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X-ray of U.S. girl, age 16 years 8 months, wit...

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Look at the picture to the right of a 16 year old girl with Scoliosis.  Notice the position of her head…tilted over to the left…then the curve begins to compensate from there….first one way and then the other until the pelvis is seen as being lower on the left in the standing position.  This is a very common pattern that develops after an upper neck misalignment at an early age that begins a cascade of events.  When the top bone of the neck…the atlas is misaligned it will tilt the head off to the side…and just like standing on the side of a hill your body must compensate for the change in head position.  If the misalignment occurs early enough in life than a idiopathic scoliosis will develop.  Idiopathic means that the medical profession does not know what causes it.  Idiopathic scoliosis is the most common type of scoliosis…approximately 80-85 % of all scoliosis is idiopathic.  I prefer to call this an Atlas Misalignment Scoliosis. 

Proprioceptive Problems  

Disturbances of postural equilibrium (or what is called proprioception) have been found in idiopathic scoliosis, and several researchers have suggested that this is a result of brain stem disturbances. It has been shown experimentally that stress on posterior nerve roots can also cause spinal deviation.  

Following a head or neck trauma one area that is commonly damaged is the proprioceptive system of the neck.  Proprioception is your body’s ability to perceive your position is space.  The upper cervical spine has the most dense collection of proprioceptors in the body.  When these proprioceptors are damaged people tend to have an all sorts of different problems.  An Upper Cervical Corrective Procedure is designed to correct this underlying cause in order to restore proper neurology and physiology to the body.  This underlying proprioceptive imbalance could be another reason why Upper Cervical Care is so effective in helping those with Scoliosis. 

Do you have Scoliosis?  Do you know if you have Scoliosis?  Does your child have Scoliosis?  Don’t wait to middle school to find out…the earlier the misalignment is detected the more likely that you can have a complete correction. 

If you are in the San Diego County area go to www.nuccawellness.com to get you or your child evaluated today.  Go to www.upcspine.com if you are anywhere else in the country. 

Dr. William R. Davis Jr., D.C. is a Oceanside Chiropractor and Upper Cervical Specialist. He is in private practice in Southern California in the city of Vista. He specializes in correcting problems in the upper cervical spine (upper neck). This vital area is intimately connected to the central nervous system and problems in this area have been shown to be an underlying cause of a variety of different health problems. More information can be found on his website at http://www.nuccawellness.com

References: 

Yekutiel M, Robin GC, Yarom R, Proprioceptive function in children with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. Spine 1981; 6(6):560-6 / Medline ID: 82153215 

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This is an posterior-to-anterior X-ray of a ca...

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The Problem    

Scoliosis is a disorder that causes an abnormal curve of the spine, or backbone. The spine has normal curves when looking from the side, but it should appear straight when looking from the front.”  (see picture) www.emedicine.net   According to WebMDIn about 80% of cases, the cause of scoliosis is not known.”  80%!  Wow that is a lot!  In 8/10 of the people who have been diagnosed with scoliosis or curvature in the spine the medical profession have no clue what causes it.      

Generally, the scoliosis is found when a child is examined for scoliosis in middle school.  But frequently scoliosis is undetected until adulthood.  Regardless, the earlier the curvature can be found the better.  If it is identified at 13 years of age and it is already 15 degrees…it would have been much better to find it at 7 years of age when it was 8 degrees don’t you think?  Especially if the underlying cause can be corrected and the progression of the scoliosis can be stopped.  Also the earlier the scoliosis is identified the more likely the condition can be reversed.     

Scoliosis has psychological consequences as well as physical consequences. Self image can be negatively impacted, especially in the formative adolescent years.  Scoliosis can be so mild that an untrained eye cannot see the curve, or it can be severe enough to cause deformity.  Children are often made fun of as a result of these deformities.    

The physical consequences are much worse though.  People with scoliosis are a greater risk of developing heart problems, breathing problems, osteoporosis, accelerated disc degeneration and spinal pain, reproductive function and pregnancy problems can be just some of the consequences associated with untreated scoliosis.    

The medical approach has 3 main strategies.  Wait until it gets worse!  Put a brace on the entire trunk for up to 23 hours a day!  Or dangerous surgery!  Doesn’t sound like fun to me!  Which of these approaches gets to the underlying cause?…none of them?  The medical approach is focused on the effects and not the cause obviously.     

    

The Upper Neck Connection     

Two medical doctors from Europe have done extensive research into upper neck problems in newborns and how that relates to the health of children.  Dr. Gutmann was researching the connection all the way back to the 1960’s… in 1987 Dr. Gutmann published his research linking the upper neck to problems ranging from scoliosis to ear infections, torticollis, colic and many other common childhood conditions.     

Dr. Biedermann also has published extensively on this subject and published his findings in 1992.  Between the 2 medical researchers they have studied over 1000 newborns and have observed a very high incidence of upper cervical misalignments on x-ray.  Gutmann found over 80% in his study had problems in the upper neck that needed to be addressed!  Birth trauma was the most common cause.  Forceps delivery, vacuum extraction and even just normal birthing methods with a woman flat on her back rather than in the standing position where gravity can work, can be an extremely traumatic experience for the head and neck of a newborn.      

It is reported that within the general population the incidence of Scoliosis is about 2.5% or about 25 per 1000 people.  However, that is only the people who are identified as having scoliosis and it only includes those that have a 10 degree curvature or more.  A 7,8, or 9 degree scoliosis can still have dramatic affects on the health of a person’s spine and body.  Also many individuals have no idea that they have a curvature in their spine until adulthood.  I have seen patients in my office who are in their 60’s who were unaware of a 10-15 degree scoliosis!     

If the weight of the head is not balanced over the spinal column due to accidents and injuries to the upper neck this will result in postural changes including head tilt, shoulder tilt, hips uneven, and leg imbalance.  The earlier the child develops this upper neck misalignment the more likely it is for them to develop a scoliosis when they hit their growth spurt.    

    

   

The Solution    

Early detection is the key to stopping the progression and possibly correct the scoliosis completely.  All children should be evaluated after birth and regularly thoroughout the childhood years for the presence of an upper neck misalignment that could start this process in their spine.  If a curvature is detected than the misalignment should be corrected as soon as possible.  If the scoliosis is already very advanced due to lack of evaluation, than the misalignment should still be corrected and maintained and postural exercises should be given in order to prevent future progression.  The longer the curvature has been there the more likely it will be to not correct completely.    

To find out more about upper cervical care in San Diego County go to www.nuccawellness.com or in other areas go to www.upcspine.com.    

Dr. William R. Davis Jr., D.C. is a Oceanside Chiropractor and Upper Cervical Specialist. He is in private practice in Southern California in the city of Vista. He specializes in correcting problems in the upper cervical spine (upper neck). This vital area is intimately connected to the central nervous system and problems in this area have been shown to be an underlying cause of a variety of different health problems. More information can be found on his website at http://www.nuccawellness.com

References:     

emedicine.net     

webMD     

Biedermann H. Kinematic imbalances due to suboccipital strain in newborns. J. Manual Med (1992) 6:151-156.      

Gutman, G. Blocked atlantal nerve syndrome in babies and infants. Manuelle Medizin, 1987, 25, pp. 5-10. and Gilles et al, Infantile Atlantooccipital Instability, Am J Dis Child 133:30-37, 1979       

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